Portraits of confused identity: The poems of the Pearl poet
Whipple, Jessica Squire
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This paper will focus on the question of identity in the poems of the Pearl poet and how such identities are shaped. Through multiple character traits, I examine not only how the audience plays a role in identity formation, but how each trait cannot stand alone. Only with the fusion of multiple traits can one identity be formed. I also emphasize the transitory nature of identity and how the figures in the Pearl poems are examples of having a formable identity. Finally, this paper focuses on how modern labels are placed on medieval character types. By examining the question of alterity, I attempt to resolve the question of how to fairly label the past with a modern conception of identity. This paper hopes to explore the questions of morality, inner and outer appearance, and how these traits shape identities.